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One of the most beautiful of all variegated evergreens, this is coveted by gardeners and flower arrangers alike. The species comes from Portugal and has been cultivated for centuries, proving itself a useful hardy shrub for hedging and specimen planting. The variety 'Argenteovariegata' ('Variegata') is more tender and needs protection in inland gardens. It tolerates shade and will find safety on a sheltered north wall, or plants may be covered with fleece if temperatures fall below -5C (23F). Plants can be clipped into topiary shapes or left to grow naturally. Cut out any green shoots you find to keep the foliage variegated. To propagate, take cuttings in summer. The Royal Horticultural Society have given it their prestigious Award of Garden Merit (AGM).
Plant type: Evergreen shrub
Flower colour: Yellow
Foliage colour: Silver variegation
Feature: Flowers, Fruit, Dramatic foliage
Sun exposure: Full sun
Skill level: Experienced
Time to take cuttings: June to August
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